Let me start with this: I am the guy who wrote he’d keep writing posts on this blog no matter what, but didn’t for 1½ years. The guy who started the #microfiction series (see the top menu), which was so small only one tiny story was ever published!
The truth is I ‘disappeared’ for a while, for totally non-dramatic reasons. I neither was too busy nor ill nor did I abandon FIRE. As a matter of fact, my passion for FIRE is burning brighter than ever. There’s no surrendering to short-sighted wants, no undermining of my long-term plans. But more about that in a moment.
So what kept me from writing and publishing my monthly updates?
One thing I find very hard is to keep the motivation the moment I perceive something to be a routine that doesn’t teach me anything new. I know life is full of routines. Sleeping and eating are a few examples. But those are needs and I better do both. Aiming for FIRE is to some extent also an exercise in routines. Routinely set aside and save money. Invest that money. Day in day out, meticulously following the strategy to that blissful moment when I no longer have to trade my precious time for a paycheck.
To infuse a bit of fun into the process, I started this blog. And maintaining it was fun. I learned a lot along the way. It helped me to articulate my goals and to think about my strategies and plans for reaching them. But as I progressed, I lost the conviction that posting monthly portfolio updates and personal musings was what I wanted and needed. Long story short, I needed to rethink a bit how I wanted to use my time.
So what did I do during my ‘absence’? Here’s a little breakdown:
I participated in a game jam. I am in no way a hardcore developer, but can find my way around in various programming languages. For this particular game jam, I programmed a 3D solar system experience that teaches people the laws of gravity. What’s better, it landed me 7th place (among more than 100 participants I believe), which earned me crypto coins that at the time represented $1500 in fiat currency.
I became a landowner. Of virtual land that is, in a blockchain based virtual reality world. Sounds like I was just playing a game here, but that’s quite far from the truth. Trading digital assets is big business. Maybe you have heard about the recent NFT craze with artists earning millions on digital art. I entered this NFT space way before it exploded. Not because I anticipated the current activity, but because it interested me. The digital land I purchased allows me to build virtual structures, implement use cases and learn about (and be part of) a technological revolution that is already washing over us.
Digital currencies (and blockchain)
I expanded my digital footprint and got more involved in the world of blockchain, crypto currencies and decentralized applications.
There’s a technological revolution happening and it’s going to affect us all, just like the Internet did. Or smartphones. Or social media. I am not talking about Bitcoin. I am talking about a paradigm shift from centralization to decentralization. My interest in this topic has developed quite naturally. Being an IT guy, I was interested in the underlying technology. But as it developed and more and more decentralized applications became available I started to understand the functional side and how the technology would drive specific use cases. There’s still some ground to cover to lower the barrier for non tech savvy people to enter the ‘decentralization space’, but it’s a matter of time before anyone will use the technology in a totally transparent way. In the early days of Internet you needed to be a bit of an IT nerd to use it. Today kids install TikTok on their smartphones. Blockchain based, decentralized applications (Dapps) will follow a similar path.
So what about FIRE?
My dream of reaching FIRE is alive and kicking! More than ever. To make a long story short, I am approaching (a form of) FIRE faster than I ever could have imagined a few years ago. There are two main reasons for that:
- The one and only stock that I hold is not letting me down and continues to rise (not bow under for corona) as I acquire more and more of them. Yes, I am totally going against the diversification ‘school of thought’ with this. To my defense, this is my employer’s stock, which I can obtain at a favorable price via an ESPP program (employee stock purchase program).
- I have made great progress in world of blockchain and crypto currencies.
I have to add that the above is not a reflection of my current portfolio as I have (considerable) equity in my home and pension savings as well. But these two elements have been more or less predictable assets/asset classes and are not what has propelled me into a fundamentally different position as far as FIRE is concerned.
What has really (I mean really) changed the game is the expansion into crypto. Before you think it’s the risky speculation game I am playing, I am not. My crypto adventures rest on a couple of pillars:
- Passive crypto income via a number of websites/apps (which I developed)
- Passive income by staking some of the crypto earned under 1) in various blockchain protocols.
- Side-hustle income
I won’t go into details of how 1) and 2) work (will save that for some other post), but the results are extremely good. My holdings in crypto are now on par with the holdings I have in my company stock.
That doesn’t quite give you a clue what it means for my journey to FIRE. But let me illustrate it.
Am I sure? What about the risks?
I do acknowledge the above is uncertain and that there are risks. One thing to keep in mind though is that the risk relates more to the ‘earlier than anticipated FIRE’ than to ‘FIRE 7 years from now’. My original strategy still stands. What has changed is that I have been able to acquire a new type of asset class and in quantities that make ‘earlier than anticipated FIRE’ a realistic scenario.
Whether it will happen, I don’t know. I surely hope so. I still see FIRE as the enabler for many things I want to do in and with my life.
FIRE is still my dream.
What are your thoughts?
I am not sure I have many readers left, but to the few that may stumble over this post, what are your thoughts? Would you ever consider entering the crypto currency space? Or do you think it is too risky?